By RODNEY YOUNG
The Radford Bobcats (0-4) will travel to Buchanan this Friday night to take on the James River Knights. The Knights (1-3) are coming off a thrashing by the Fort Chiswell Pioneers, 46-12.
Radford was beaten at home by the Blacksbrg Bruins last week 37-0. The Bobcats also lost to Pulaski County and the defending state champion George Wythe Maroons. Radford suffered the same beat down by the Fort Chiswell Pioneers by the score of 49-13. They are averaging 10 points per game are giving up 35 points per game. The main problems for the Bobcats have been turnovers, defense, and injuries.
The Knights last week were held to just 18 yards on 18 rushes in the first half against the Fort Chiswell Pioneers. Their main weapon will be quarterback Sherman Austin. Their running backs to watch will be Caleb Sink, Jordan Aylor, and Dakota Harlow. The wide receivers will be Patrick Schulz, Trey Chilcott, and Jack Schulz. Head Coach Philip King is in his eleventh season as the leader of the Knights, who are returning six starters on offense and five on defense.
“Their quarterback, Sherman Austin, is a very good runner and athlete,” said Radford Head Coach Matthew Saunders. “They like to run the spread and will show three and four wide receivers. On the defensive side of the ball they will line up in a 4-4 alignment and stunt different gaps.”
Radford will still be without their senior linebacker, Eric Benitez. The other walking wounded for the Bobcats are scheduled to play.
“We moved the ball and played well against George Wythe,” said Coach Saunders. “We moved the ball against Pulaski and Fort Chiswell. Blacksburg got on top of us and we got out of sync and didn’t move the ball. We had trouble stopping the run and turned the ball over deep in our territory. We must get better at solving those two things.”
Radford will start on offense with Nick Ridpath at center. The tackles are Jai Richardson and Landon Armentrout. The starting guards will be Omar Ismael and Zach Clark. Marcus Finley is the starting quarterback and Isiah Cater is the fullback. R.J. Jordan and Heath Grant are the slot guys. D’Andre Cook and Matt Levison will be the wideouts. Grayson Howard and D.J.Baylor will see action at the wideout positions as well.
On the defensive side of the ball the Cats will go with Stewart Bell and Brandon Boatman at the ends. Ridpath will be at tackle and Adam Turk will be the nose tackle. Felix Martinez and Richardson also will see time on the line. The linebackers will be Wes Parcell at mike-backer, Heath Grant at will-backer, and Alex Wright at sam-linebacker. Radford will go with Baylor, Cook, Finley, and R.J.Jordan in the secondary.
Radford is young and will need to get off to a good start in this game if they want to find success. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. at James River High School.